- Photo via Social Security -

Published on Wednesday, September 29, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

All public employees must be fully vaccinated against covid-19, according to new regulations mandated by the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission.

Their decision to implement a controversial mandate stems from a variety of reasons, including: the rising number of covid-19 cases, the risk of mortality from the disease, the increased circulation of the Delta variant, the unusual hospital occupancy of which most of the patients are not vaccinated and  the lack of public response to vaccination campaigns.

The commission’s urgency is to make sure that public and private work center employees are safe. And by keeping employees safe, there will be a reduction in the “possibilities of interruption of these services as a result of possible infections," the Ministry of Health said in its statement.

Their mandatory vaccination order will apply as of Oct. 15.

The order of the ministry was given one day after the Board of Directors of the University of Costa Rica, UCR,  ordered full vaccination of all their employees by Oct. 11.

UCR employees must submit an original verification of being fully vaccinated to their institution  before the deadline. The same goes for all UCR students who choose to attend in-person courses in 2022.

This is not the first time that public employees have been ordered to be vaccinated.

In February, the commission endorsed mandatory vaccinations for employees of the Ministry of Health, Social Security, the Costa Rican Red Cross and those who worked in the National Insurance Institute and are in the front-line attending infected patients.

According to the Ministry of Health, the order to fully vaccinate employees in private companies will be the responsibility of the owner of the company. In that case, if any workers reject the vaccine, the employer may take the corresponding measures following the Labor Law.

The ministry’s order was quickly supported by the Chamber of Industries. “This is a public health problem, the decision of a person not to be vaccinated affects the community, therefore, from the work tables, the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica has encouraged this measure, considering that it could be the more effective to face the pandemic by covid-19, instead of more business restrictions,” the organization said in its statement.

As of Tuesday week, there have been 5,596,495 vaccines against covid-19 applied in Costa Rica, reaching a national vaccination rate of 94 per 100 inhabitants, according to the ministry.

Many countries are already requiring the so-called “covid-passport” or vaccination card to allow international visitors to enter the country and citizens to attend events in person.

On July 1, the European Covid Digital Certificate, better known as their 'Covid passport,' became mandatory after the European Parliament approved it with 546 votes in favor, 93 against and 51 abstentions.

This enforced document is mandatory for all the countries of the European Union and those associated (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey and North Macedonia). The covid passport aims to expedite traveling within the European Union while ensuring the safety and health of their travelers. The tourist must show the QR code that certifies that they are fully vaccinated or not infected with covid-19.

How have covid-19 vaccination mandates impacted your home country? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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